Restorative Approaches

In 2019, MSDE) began building on Maryland’s historic shift in school discipline required by HB 725 and enacted in Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-306(a)(1) (2019) in 2019 for schools in Maryland to practice discipline that is “rehabilitative, restorative, and educational.” 

A restorative approach emphasizes strong relationships and clear expectations:
  • When problem behavior does occur, it defines accountability as repairing harm rather than exclusion. 
  • Restorative discipline flows from a paradigm which is both a mindset and a practice for building relationship-focused school environments.  
  • Across Maryland we are seeing this shift, fully restorative schools are reporting improved school climates, improved student relationships and a greater sense of connection to their learning communities. 
  • Maryland State Department of Education(MSDE) is fully behind the deepening of practices and the use of a restorative approach to building a positive school climate and managing behavior in all our schools. 
  • Overall, Maryland local educational agencies are moving toward the goal of a statewide disciplinary approach which is “rehabilitative, restorative, and educational.”

The Student Services and Strategic Planning Branch staff of the Division of Student Support, Academic Enrichment, and Educational Policy Provides leadership and technical assistance to local educational agencies to promote the use of restorative approaches in all schools.


Brad Engel
School Climate Initiatives Specialist, Division of Student Support, Academic Enrichment, and Educational Policy
Office: (410) 767-0306